Trade war: Tim Cook in China calls for 'calm heads' — updated

Last week Apple's CEO was in Washington. Today he's in Beijing.

From Reuters' Apple's Tim Cook calls for calm heads on China, US trade:

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Saturday called for "calm heads" and more open trade, amid rising fears of a trade war between the United States and China.

Trade tension between China and the United States flared this week when President Donald Trump unveiled plans on Thursday to slap tariffs on potentially up to $60 billion in Chinese goods.

China's Commerce Ministry on Friday urged the United States to "pull back from the brink", saying it was not afraid to engage in a trade war...

"I'm cognizant that in both the U.S. and China, there have been cases where everyone hasn't benefited, where the benefit hasn't been balanced," Cook said... "My belief is that one plus one equals three. The pie gets larger, working together."

My take: Apple has a big stick in this fire, of course, but who would you rather represent U.S. interests in China, Tim Cook or Donald Trump?

UPDATE, from Apple’s Cook to Trump: Embrace Open Trade in Saturday's Wall Street Journal ($):

“Countries that embrace openness, that embrace trade, that embrace diversity are the countries that do exceptionally,” Mr. Cook said during a panel discussion at an economic forum here Saturday, when asked what message he would like to bring home to Mr. Trump. “And the countries that don’t, don’t,” he added, without mentioning the president by name...

In a forum at the event, Mr. Cook also called for regulations to protect privacy. “I think this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary,” he said.

Mr. Cook said that businesses or governments shouldn’t be able to know intimate details of individuals’ lives. “The ability for anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of life: from my point of view, it shouldn’t exist,” he said.

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  1. Fred Stein said:
    China holds $1.2T in Treasure debt, of $6T total held by other countries.

    We cannot win a trade war.

    March 24, 2018
    • Michael Thompson said:
      Obviously if necessary, the Fed can buy any of the debt that China sells. China cannot win a trade war since its already annihilating us in trade to the tune of over $500 Billion per year.

      The last thing that China wants is a trade war. Notice that we slapped $60 billion in tariffs on them, but they slapped $3 billion of tariffs on us. It sounds like they’re already losing and I highly expect more tariffs against China to come. The tariffs represent a negotiating tactic, China won’t budge without repercussions. The repercussions will continually be forthcoming.

      March 24, 2018
      • Tommo_UK said:
        Very naive response, I’m afraid Michael.

        The Chinese always play a long game and have done for thousands of years. Western preeminence is a historical anomaly.

        The Chinese are simply giving Trump some rope… to either pull himself out of this disastrous mess, or to hang himself (and all of us) with.

        March 24, 2018
  2. Ken Cheng said:
    Hmmm… clear case where Tim’s words should apply. Let’s hope calm heads prevail.

    March 24, 2018

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